Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Things They Hate Us and Blame Us For

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.   

I want to say how much I admire the courage of homophobes.

I mean, every day these evil, nasty bigots say and do things that enrage me. Me, a gay man. They are making a gay man angry. The sheer courage that takes is astonishing.

After all, according to them as a gay man I caused hurricane Katrina, hurricane Rita, hurricane Isaac, hurricane Irene, in fact just about every hurricane ever (and you thought hurricanes were a natural disaster! No, totally us guys) The 2001 Tsunami? That’s us again. That Earthquake in Virgina? Us again. And in Israel. And in Haiti. And in Christchurch. In fact, just about every Earthquake, ever.

The Rwandan genocide? That’s blamed on us as well. The massacre of Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica? Gay people’s fault. September 11th? Definitely caused by gay people. The holocaust? Also blamed on us, which, considering gay people were some of the victims of the holocaust, is really revoltingly offensive. Poverty in general – not specifically but the very existence of poverty? Our fault.  Riots in Malawi? Gay people again! The massacre of miners in South Africa? That would be the gay folk again. We’re even behind the current global economic depression – and you thought it was the banks!

The violence in Chicago is totally being caused by the dreaded gay. The tragic shooting at the Dark Knight showing in Colorado? Gay people did it! That scandal where those straight secret service men who had sex with female prostitutes? Gay people’s fault! The murder rates in large cities? Apparently half of them are committed by gay people including all the violence in Jamaica.

You know how the fashion industry pushing the idea that women should be extremely think creating a negative body image? That’s also gay men’s fault, apparently

Gay folk are going to destroy America, we’re going to bring down western civilisation and we’re a threat to the entire planet; the Pope, in addition to thinking we’re intrinsically evil, thinks we’re a threat on par with global warming and threaten the future of humanity. We will literally make humanity extinct

Seriously, at this point every comic book villain you have ever seen has nothing on us. It’s almost comic the things they blame on us. And, yes, I’ve come close to giggling at the many many terrible menaces the haters seem to think we’re responsible for, the only thing that stops me is the very real tragedies they’re invoking in their attempts to vilify us. There is literally nothing in the world they won’t blame us for – it’s actually getting beyond silly.

There were cases of random mass bird deaths not too long ago – that was totally us guys. So was Bird flu and foot and mouth. And the declining honey bee population? Yep, gay folk are in your hives, killing your bees. I’m getting images of some kind of Rainbow Hulk roaring around smashing things.

It amazes me that these haters dare even come out in a morning, let alone risk pissing us off. Wait the pope’s opening his mouth again – better not! Do I have to kill the bees? Do not make me kill those bees homophobe!

While it’s almost tempting to laugh at this – it’s sinister. This is one of the primary paths to dehumanise people by making us scape goats for any and all ills. We certainly don’t lack examples from history – blame a marginalised group for everything and you are more justified in your hatred and your persecution. This kind of talk isn’t silly – it’s frightening and feeds into the common demonization of gay people and how it justifies hurting us and denying our rights.

And this demonization is directly linked to hate against us. How many times have we heard being GBLT compared to incest and bestiality – and now cannibalism is the new fad. How many times have we been called paedophiles and child abusers? This month alone I’ve heard that the reason we want to end the discrimination in the Boy Scouts is so we can “get access to” the kids. Aside from being vile, this bigotry is being used to support discrimination. The Catholic church blamed their own child rape scandal on GBLT people and I’ve lost count of the number of bigots out there calling Sandusky gay. Our families are devalued and denied rights based on these slurs, that we “recruit”, that we “reproduce by molesting children”, that we can’t be trusted around kids. Anti-bullying messages are being stopped in schools to stop our “recruitment” and “mental molestation”.

Bryan Fischer is using this demonization to called for an “underground railroad” to kidnap the children of gay parents. Think on that for a moment. He’s comparing our families to slavery. And he is urging people to take our kids. He wants people to kidnap our children.

It’s tempting to dismiss these people as fringe, but they’re not. Some of the people who said these things are politicians, elected officials, MPs, presidential candidates, pastors, bishops, the pope – others are constantly given media time by networks like the BBC, channel 4, CNN and Fox. These are not fringe groups – or the straight people are not treating them like fringe groups.

We can’t take these threats casually and we can’t just dismiss these bigots as silly fools. Their words have a cost and must be opposed.

Or I’m totally going to send another Earthquake.